The Department of Transport today (16th December 2005) announced that from 2nd January 2006 mobile road transport workers can look forward to an improved level of protections under new legislation. They include drivers and staff who accompany drivers such as assistants, trainees and apprentices. They do not apply to self-employed drivers.
The legislation is implementing the EU Directive 2002/15 on the organisation of the working time of persons performing mobile road transport activities. The Regulations will apply to drivers and other mobile workers who are involved in road transport operations that are currently subject to EU drivers' hours and rest period rules, including own account drivers and agency drivers. Generally, they will apply to anyone that is required by EU rules to have a tachograph.
The Regulations will supplement the driver's hours rules by regulating the full working day of mobile road transport workers i.e. driving hours and time spent on other work related activities. Mobile workers will be obliged to comply with the new Regulations as well as the existing EU drivers' hours rules.
Under the new Regulations, limits on weekly working time (excluding breaks and periods of availability) and a limit on the amount of work that can be done at night will be introduced. They also specify how much continuous work can be done before taking a break. Working time must not exceed:
60 hours in any single week
10 hours in any 24 hours period, if working at night.
A reference period for the average 48 hours week may be extended from 4 to 6 months and the amount of night work can exceed 10 hours if a collective or registered employment agreement is in place.
Fleet operators and drivers will require a period of time to acquaint themselves with the new arrangements and a copy of the new legislation together with an information note is on the Department's website at www.transport.ie.
Further information : (01) 6041090/6041091